Broaden your horizons with bops from Night Lovell, Haviah Mighty, Deante Hitchcock, Robotaki, and more.
by Gabby Sgherri
As we head into warmer months, there is a lot to look forward to; patio season, backyard BBQs, and park hangs to name a few. This seasonal change inspires us to not only do some spring cleaning but update our playlists and remove the moody winter vibe that’s no longer applicable. If you can relate, we have seven new artists that will pair perfectly with your hot [insert gender pronoun here] summer.
Odie will give you all the R&B feels but with an Afrobeats-inspired sound you’ve never heard before. Sylo Nozra redefines the image of R&B and Night Lovell takes an alternative approach to trap music. What’s more exciting than the talent of this group? The return of live music and the fact that all these emerging artists will be performing at Westward Festival 2021 in Vancouver. Pre-sale tickets for Westward are available as of April 28th at 10 am PST with the password WMF2021. General sale starts April 30th, get tickets here. Until then, grab your headphones and listen to the talent breaking down genre boundaries and making way for a new generation of artists.
Genre: Hip-hop/Trap For Fans Of: Playboi Carti, Denzel Curry, Ski Mask The Slump God Perfect For: Nighttime car rides.
Night Lovell, born Shermar Paul, is a Canadian rapper who takes an alternative approach to trap music with a slow and ethereal sound. His ominous persona and use of nighttime motifs contrast the emotion and vulnerability put on display through his music. He stays true to his roots, crediting his hometown of Ottawa for keeping him grounded and his dad, MC Renegade, for being a constant source of support and musical inspiration. Since his debut in 2014, Night Lovell has remained an independent artist, amassing over 3 million followers on Spotify and over 100 million streams on his most popular song “Dark Light.”
Genre: Hip-Hop For Fans Of: Tierra Whack, Kardinal Offishall, Rico Nasty Perfect For: Vino and card games.
Hip-hop artist Haviah Mighty has been on her grind the last few years and it shows. Her debut studio album 13th Floor nabbed the 2019 Polaris Music Prize, making her the first female rap artist to do so. Her hard-hitting verses showcase lyricism and sonic range as she explores beats influenced by trap, reggae, and neo-soul. She recently linked up with R&B artist TOBi for the single “Good On My Own Tonight” which seamlessly blends her hip-hop verses with his smooth vocals. If her current music catalog is any indication, Haviah Mighty has a lot more award-winning albums to come.
A quick scroll through Deante Hitchcock’s Spotify and you’ll instantly recognize the notable hip-hop artists he’s collaborated with: 6LACK, J.I.D, Miguel, and H.E.R. The Atlanta-native first caught the attention of the internet with freestyle videos posted on Instagram. His videos even reached Mark Pitts, president of RCA records, who slid into Hitchcock’s DMs and signed him in 2017.
From there, his career started to amp up, joining 6LACK on his 2018 East Atlanta Love Letter tour and JID’s “Catch Me If You Can” tour the following year. He was invited to the legendary Dreamville recording sessions (a golden ticket in rap) which resulted in being featured on the Grammy-nominated Revenge of The Dreamers III album. His music follows in the footsteps of conscious rappers like J.Cole, showcasing his lyricism and wordplay while addressing emotional vulnerability and tough life experiences. Coming off a successful 2020, Hitchcock is on a fast-paced track to the top.
Genre: Alternative R&B/Soul For Fans Of: Omar Apollo, Daniel Caesar, Masego Perfect For: Backyard BBQs.
Rhythm and melody are two words that come to mind when listening to the dreamy vocals of Odie. Born in Toronto to Nigerian immigrants, Odie draws inspiration from his parent’s hardships and lineage, writing about the evolution of self. His low-end vocals are reminiscent of Kid Cudi with a genre-bending twist, mixing R&B with hip-hop and Afrobeats. It’s only been a few years since Odie’s 2017 debut but his accolades are stacking up. His music has been featured on OVO Sound Radio, the HBO hit show Insecure, the feature film They Fight, and the homepages of Apple Music and Spotify. He’s no doubt a rising artist to watch.
Toronto-native Preston Chin, who goes by the stage name of Robotaki, was set to follow a science-based career path when he started experimenting with music. Chin attended grad school by day and moonlighted as a SoundCloud artist by night. If Chin needed a sign to pursue music full-time, it came in 2015 when The Chainsmokers tapped him to remix the audio of their #1 hit “Closer.” This led to Chin creating another remix for popular producers Porter Robinson and Madeon and opening their North American tour. The multi-hyphenate producer and artist fuses different genres like funk, pop, and disco to create a sound that’s unique to him. With production co-signs and tours under his belt already, Robotaki is well on his way to success.
Genre: Alternative R&B For Fans Of: Bryson Tiller, Miguel, SZA Perfect For: Cooking dinner.
Sylo Nozra is on a mission to change the face of R&B. The Korean-Canadian artist thinks there’s a lack of Asian representation in R&B and hopes to be the type of role model for others that he searched for while growing up. His childhood was full of classical music and his adolescence was spent playing in rock bands which led to a complex understanding of harmony and melody. He’s created his own silky R&B sound with a vocal style that draws influence from neo-soul—his music is like honey for your ears. He’s already amassed millions of streams on Spotify and will continue to break R&B barriers with new music.
Genre: Alternative Hip-Hop/Pop Rap For Fans Of: Brockhampton, IDK, Duckwrth Perfect For: Lighting up.
Toronto-based duo Moneyphone, comprised of Eno Ncube and David May, is taking rap in a new direction with lo-fi beats and bedroom pop-inspired vocals. The two artists met in high school and their collaborative energy has come naturally ever since. They’ve tapped into Toronto’s budding music scene and collaborated with friends in the city for production and background vocals. Their unique use of vocal production leaves you feeling like you heard several different characters across one song—but in the most cohesive way. If Moneyphone’s 2020 mixtape is any indication of their potential, the duo’s future is looking bright.